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In February 2020, my wife Buddini Karawdeniya and I moved with our one-year-old son from the United States to Australia. We’d worked together as postdocs at Southern Methodist University (SMU) in Dallas, Texas, until Buddini, a nanopore researcher, accepted a research fellowship at the Australian National University (ANU) in Canberra. The move meant that we could be closer to our parents, who live in Sri Lanka. We visited them before leaving for Australia — and I never imagined that it would be the last time I would see my father, who passed away a year later, in February 2021. We planned for me to find a job in Australia and to visit our parents every year, but this never materialized: they are eagerly waiting to see us and our son, but with the pandemic still rampaging through Sri Lanka, that’s a very distant dream.